My Husband

 

If I had written this morning, I would’ve told you about trying to write between morning tantrums, and then again amidst yogurt and blueberries and lots of chatter, while we watched the caterpillars in the container on the dining table, caterpillars the toddler found roaming the fennel fronds out in the garden. The garden now overgrown, jungle-like, tomato plants leaning on each other like drunk friends at the end of a long night. I would’ve forgotten to tell you that her dad took her outside to the garden, that in fact he was the one who spotted the caterpillars, who thought to get the little carrier from the garage and collect the fat critters carefully, fronds and all, a tiny, temporary habitat for her amusement and inspection. If we were a still life painting, we’d be called “Mother and Child Breakfast with Caterpillars.” You see, the father is not at the table. He’s already gone off to work, even on a holiday. Every day this man works. And yet, in the early morning hour before he goes, he finds a moment to walk to the garden with the bumbling, mercurial toddler, to spy a small creature, to gentle it into a container, to ask his daughter, what colors do you see? I don’t write enough about this man. All he does. All he is. Truest heart.

(Post 230 of 365)

Wild Geese: 28/365

Tonight a poem, well known and beloved. Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese.¬†I keep this one on the side of my fridge. I love poetry. I love to hand copy poems, slow it down, become¬†intimate with each word. There’s something sacred about it.

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

For a hundred miles through the

desert, repenting.

My whole body exhales. Relief. Guilt runs deep and thick in my Irish Catholic family. I feel it in the marrow of my bones. Just recently I realized that part of what this project is is claiming myself. Maybe that’s what the whole thing is about. And as I claim myself, I release guilt.

You only have to let the soft animal of

your body

love what it loves.

Yes. Motherhood has taught me that.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will

tell you mine.

This is why we write. And why we read. And how we love.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear

pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the

clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Amen.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your

imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh

and exciting –

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

Doesn’t she just leave you breathless and peaceful?